1. You play White Elephant. One co-worker brings a framed photograph of Burt Reynolds; another co-worker brings one of those infomercial devices for which you clap once to turn on the lights, and twice to turn them off. Someone inevitably brings an enormous holiday-themed can of popcorn. The lucky players end up with an iTunes or Starbucks gift card in the amount of the price limit you set. The unluckiest ends up with a used company sweatshirt.
2. You get at least 10 emails per week that read something like this: “Hey guys. I’ve got a whole box full of leftover peanut brittle at my desk. Come get it at Cubicle 37.” Or, “Christmas cookies in the kitchen. Help yourselves!” You manage to restrain yourself until around 11am, until which time you give in and eat the sweets. Yum!
3. Cubicle decorating. We all have at least one co-worker who loves to decorate. Perpetually spirited, they deck the halls – or, fabric walls – with garland, lights, and greeting cards. They buy miniature trees to adorn their desks. They fill bowls with shiny-wrapped candy, and they bring reindeer-topped cupcakes to work. You look at your own somewhat bare desk and wonder why you didn’t think to purchase one of those rosemary plants trimmed in the shape of a tree. You go to the spirited cube-decorator with a work-related question just so you can hang out in his or her cube.
4. Christmas sweater wearers. They are not going to a tacky Christmas sweater party. They are not joking. They are simply being their festive selves. Red-nosed reindeer embroidery, jingle bell earrings, and all.
5. Days before the office officially closes for the holidays, you experience dead silence. Many people have left early for vacation. You either feel you, too, should not be at work, or you may take the opportunity to get a lot done with few distractions. Either way, you work with the lovely anticipation of time off about to start!
Happy Holiday Season from our workplace to yours!